Carmen is an opera in four acts by the French composer Georges Bizet, with a libretto written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy based on a novella by Prosper Mérimée. This lithographic poster, illustrated by Prudent-Louis Leray, advertised the opera’s premiere, which took place in Paris on 3 March 1875. It was not initially a success; the audience at the Opéra-Comique was shocked by the drastic realism of the action and by the low standing and immorality of most of the characters. However, later that year, after Bizet’s unexpected death, an adaptation by Ernest Guiraud performed by the Vienna Court Opera became a great success with the public, and Guiraud’s version went on to achieve worldwide fame.
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